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Fender Jazzmaster Fretboard Wear


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1. Divots in a Fretboard are best repaired during the course of a refret, right before final resurfacing of the fretboard is done. I’ve removed the frets on this Fender Jazzmaster to plane and sand the fretboard straight. But before I continue with the refret I’m going to patch up this worn Indian rosewood fretboard. This method of fretboard repair was popularized (and invented?) by California based luthier Frank Ford. 2. Creating Small Fibers of rosewood is the first step in this repair. I’ve found that with the frets removed I can make my deep cuts span 1 or 2 mm past the divots on both ends. I’m creating these little strands of wood at the bottom of each of the divots.
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3. Pulling the Fibers Up above the surface of the fretboard with an exacto knife ensures that when this repair is complete it will be as hidden as possible. 4. Pulling the Fibers Up Cont. As I made my cuts I did my best to follow the grain lines of the rosewood. Some cuts of rosewood, especially Brazillian rosewood, exhibit some pretty wild figure. The effort will pay off in the end…
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5. Rosewood Dust, from our shop’s collection of jars filled with hardwood dust, makes the perfect filler for this job. I’m using dust from the same species of rosewood to help ensure a good color match. 6. Packing the Rosewood Dust into my incissions goes pretty quickly with one of the shop’s table knives. After the dust is good and packed down I’ll brush away the excess.
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7. Wicking in Cyano Acrylate (aka: super glue) is the next step. I’m using a thin viscosity super glue. This is the same thickness as the kind of super glue purchased in your local hardware store. I’ll keep apply- ing the glue until the divots won’t accept anymore glue. I’ll take my lunch break as the adhesive cures. 8. Filing the Filler Flush with the surface of the fretboard is a two step process. I’m using a course double cut file to start. As the filler becomes closer to level with the surrounding fretboard I’ll switch to a single cut mill file.
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9. Finish Sanding the repaired area with 220 grit sandpaper occurs at the same time as I complete the resurfacing process of the fretboard. 10. A Job Well Done! With the fretboard oiled and a new set of frets the repair is difficult to detect.
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11. Here’s Another View of the completed job. The repair is visible but a lot less obvious than it would have been had I simply filled the divots with epoxy or a mixture of wood dust and glue.